- They have signed a letter to the G7 group of rich countries – including the UK – asking them to donate 20% of their vaccines by August
Millions of COVID-19 vaccines could be wasted if rich countries send large amounts of leftover doses to poorer nations in one go, UNICEF has warned.
The charity said there needed to be a steady supply throughout the year because poor countries do not have resources to use them all at once.
The UK and others have promised to donate their surplus doses – but they have been asked to give more earlier.
According to the BBC celebrities including Billie Eilish and David Beckham are backing UNICEF’s plea.
They have signed a letter to the G7 group of rich countries – including the UK – asking them to donate 20% of their vaccines by August.
“The pandemic will not be over anywhere until it is over everywhere,” said Beckham.
Others who have signed the letter include Andy Murray, Olivia Colman, Ewan McGregor, Liam Payne, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Orlando Bloom, Katy Perry, Gemma Chan, Whoopi Goldberg, Claudia Schiffer and Chris Hoy.
UNICEF’s vaccine lead Lily Caprani said that countries needed to vaccinate their own populations at the same time as the rest of the world.
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“At some point, no doubt, we will need to vaccinate under-18s,” she said. “But the priority at this moment has to be making sure that all of the vulnerable and priority groups around the world get vaccines.
“So we’re saying countries like the UK and the G7 need to donate their doses to those low income countries now, while still vaccinating their populations at home.”
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